Wakefulness - a state of untrammelled alertness that exists only in the world of the childless, temporarily childless, empty nesters ... and those who don't share their home with Bertie Baggins.
While I lay claim to the world's only fail-safe method for dealing comprehensively with sleepless nights in children - stop worrying about it (you'll miss those midnight sleepy cuddles one day and in sixteen years' time you'll be grateful just to know where your child is at 2am!") and simply wait for them to grow up - I profess that I am at a loss over what to do with a sleep-disturbing dog.
The internet is full of ideas -
- have a good routine, particularly for meal-times
- consider diabetes ... well, I have and he's not thirsty, isn't peeing more than usual and his weight is stable, so if the symptoms of diabetes in dogs are the same as in humans, I don't think that's his problem
- could he be anxious? ... What about?! He's a dog. He probably does worry about where his next meal is coming from and more urgently when, but even if he is worrying about something, am I ever likely to discover what it is? He's not going to tell me. Is he?
- might he have arthritis? - apparently this is a 'common cause of insomnia' in older dogs (... I may not tell the big boss about this prospect just yet!) but it can be managed with heat pads. Well, just in case, I have anticipated this early and given Bertie Baggins his very own heat pad ... his uncle. They have shared a crate for the past week, which resulted in silence for the first two nights, then the insomnia resurfaced and we were back to the old 4a.m. routine. To gauge how I look at that time in the morning, I just have to glance at Four-legged-friend - the effort of lifting his head off the ground, as he strains to open his eyes screams "Really!? He's woken me again!?"
- or might Bertie Baggins be so pumped full of adolescent energy and so un-exausted by his (sometime-) daily saunter with Four-legged-friend and I, that his neurones all start to spark in the middle of the night and he has to jump around, bark and go out to run off some energy. Thus, I resolve that before I take him to the vet to beg for sleeping pills, I shall daily drain the energy out of him.
So we went for a walk today
Butter wouldn't melt!
He ran, skipped, chased rabbits, disappeared through a hedge, splashed around in muddy puddles, fetched bits of apple thrown for him and tried valiantly to persuade Four-legged-friend to chase him. We marvelled at his energy and walked slowly on.
And, on the subject of walking, remember my entry from last week?
and its reference to this?
If you were wondering why '174 is an amazing number' (see title), that is because it is the number of wheelchairs delivered by this wonderful project. Which makes it a fab number! Utterly brilliant! And for their next project ... they want to build a school. Humbling, isn't it? Something to ponder in the wee small hours. ...